Wednesday, 28 November 2012
The Magic Flute
Full of delightful music it may be, but there is little insight that the cricketer can glean from this great work. Its heroes may well undergo trials by silence, by fire and by water but, in FB's view, only Mozart could imagine these compare with trial by spin bowling.
Ever alert to the risk of calamity, Mrs FB had prepared for this visit to the opera house well. Several days in advance of the show she said to FB, ‘Now you won’t tell me every ten minutes that you can’t see what relevance this work is to cricket …will you?’
The slight pause before the ‘Will you?’ gave those words added weight. She repeated this inquiry at regular intervals and, just to keep FB alert, subtly varied it.
‘And you won’t suggest to me at the end of each aria that it would have been better if a cricket reference had been worked in….WILL YOU?’ Once again, FB was impressed by the weight of the concluding will you. He could hear the capital letters.
Resisting the temptation to suggest that he did not really see the point of Mrs FB's concern, he agreed that he would maintain silence on cricketing matters at least until the interval. He regrets to inform his world wide readership that while the spirit may be willing, the flesh is weak and not long into the performance, shortly after Monty Papageno has been introduced to the audience, he found it necessary to inform Mrs FB that cricketers generally would not take much comfort from the protection offered by a magic flute or a set of magic bells when facing collatura bouncers from the Queen of the Night.
Given all the relevant considerations FB thought this was not an unreasonable observation. However, if he is any judge of Mrs FB’s response on these things, she was of the view that, notwithstanding its evident veracity, FB might have been better if he kept such opinions to himself. Even for some days after she would not be drawn on the matter.
FB has therefore been taking consolation in the music - he shares on this link the wonderful overture. Test Match Quality.